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Politics

Public To Weigh In On Bill To Expand Who Performs Abortions

AUGUSTA, Maine - The public can weigh in on Democratic Gov. Janet Mills' bill to allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives to perform abortions. The governor's bill is set for a public hearing Wednesday. Current state law prevents advanced practice clinicians such as physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses from providing abortion care. Mills said such limitations lack medical justification and leave Maine with three publicly accessible health centers providing in-clinic abortions.
 
Democrats won Maine's statehouse in November and have promised to expand women's health access.
 
Republican Rep. Beth O'Connor has called Mills' legislation and another bill to require Medicaid and private insurers to cover abortions "extremist.''
 
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the ACLU of Maine are challenging funding restrictions in ongoing federal litigation and praised Mills' legislation.